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Cluster bombs hit hospital in Wanni: UN

Cluster bombs have hit one of the last functioning hospitals in Sri Lanka's embattled northern region where people injured in the offensive against LTTE are being treated, raising further concerns over the safety of civilians.

world Updated: Feb 05, 2009 01:23 IST

Cluster bombs have hit one of the last functioning hospitals in Sri Lanka's embattled northern region where people injured in the offensive against LTTE are being treated, raising further concerns over the safety of civilians in the war zone.

"Cluster bombs have hit a hospital in the Wanni region," UN spokesman Gordon Weiss said.

The attack came two days after the Government asked all civilians to enter the demarcated 'safety zone' as soon as possible, saying otherwise their security could not be guaranteed.

It is the first time cluster bombs are known to have been used in the war since the collapse of a Norway-brokered ceasefire in 2007.

"We hold the gravest fears for the safety of our staff and their families," Weiss said.

On Sunday, the civil hospital in Pudukudiyyiruppu in Tigers-controlled area was shelled killing 12 patients.

Hundreds of thousands of hapless civilians are caught in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan Army and LTTE in the north of the island.

The exact number of people trapped in the intense fighting is not cleary known with the government estimating the figure at 120,000 while the aid agencies say it is more.